You have three minutes or less to escape your home if it catches fire. This is much less time compared to decades ago. The reason for this is that furniture and other items in your home are made differently today, and these items burn much faster. A fire can completely consume your home in a matter of five minutes. Should you get stuck in your home, you could suffer burn injuries from a range of sources.
A large number of house fires in Chicago and throughout the country occur because of “careless” cooking: when someone turns on the stove or grill to cook a meal and then leaves it unattended. Grease can splatter or oil can overflow from a pot, leading to a fire. In a matter of minutes, your entire kitchen could be engulfed in flames. Never leave a lit stove or grill unattended, especially if you have children or pets. If you must walk away, turn the flame off or ask someone to watch the appliance until you return.
There are hundreds of products on the market that have warnings for flammability. If one of these products were to explode inside your home, you could be dealing with a fire that quickly spirals out of control. If you were using the product at the time it exploded, you could suffer serious burns that could land you in the hospital for months and might even require skin grafts to heal the injured area.
Categories of burn injuries
There are four categories of burn injuries:
- First-degree burns: The lowest level of burns one can suffer. It is most often compared to sunburn, and usually doesn’t require professional medical attention.
- Second-degree burns: These injuries cause damage to the lower layers of the skin. You will see blisters form, and the skin will be painful to touch. The victims may need to seek medical treatment, depending on the size and area of the burns.
- Third-degree burns: This type of burn injury often present with leathery-looking skin. The damage penetrates into the fat and muscle tissue, and victims may not feel any pain, as the burn can damage nerve endings. Skin grafts are likely to be required, and the victim will likely sustain permanent scarring.
- Fourth-degree burns: This reaches the bones, and often results in death. If the victim survives, he or she will almost certainly need to have the burn body part amputated.
Suffocation and inhalation are real risks
Not all victims of house fires suffer burn injuries. Inhalation of smoke and ash can lead to long-term respiratory issues. When fires burn, they deplete the oxygen in the room. Being deprived of oxygen can lead to permanent brain damage, and if a victim is left untreated, he or she may suffocate to death.
Did you suffer burn injuries in a house fire? It’s always a smart idea to speak with an experienced Chicago burn injury attorney to see if you could be entitled to damages for your injuries and losses. Call Gainsberg Law, P.C. today at 312-313-1621 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation.